I'm referring to artistic/entertainment personas, such as Borat and Ali G - where performers actually take on a whole new personality as part of their work.
How are such personas developed? Are they carefully planned out, or do they organically develop? How much of the persona is developed before being performed (for example, does Borat have a detailed childhood history?)? Is it much like creating a fictional character for stories, or is there some other process?
Along with that, how are the other aspects - fashion, style, mannerisms, talents, accents, etc - of the persona handled? Does someone that want to make an artistic persona usually go to classes to learn all those skills? Where do they get it from?
I've emailed Empress V
(who performs in Brisbane as A Wonder Woman, amongst others) and she's given me some good advice, but I'd like to know of any other perspectives and resources. Google doesn't turn up much and my local libraries don't have a lot on the topic either - where and what topic should I be looking for?